Sainsbury’s sells Israeli oranges, grapefruit, avocados, strawberries, thyme, tarragon, parsley, coriander, rosemary, passion fruit, sharon fruit, ‘Shelly’ mangoes, mejdoul dates, lychees, fresh figs, plums, fruit juice, minneola (tangerines), potatoes (‘Desiree’, ‘Vivaldi’, ‘Rooster’, white, baking, baby, salad), sweet potatoes, peppers (‘Ramiro’), pickled cucumbers, pickled olives, radishes, ‘Splendid’ flowers, ‘Basics’ flowers, ‘Saveur Mediterranean’ hummous, turkey, smoked chicken breast, Rumples party pretzels, Osem croutons, Telma chicken soup mix and soups, feta cheese, Tivall vegetarian food range, ‘Food for Thought’ dips, table wine (red, white, rose & sparkling), Kiddush wine and Yarden wine and Osem foods.

This extensive list includes many products from illegal Israeli settlements, including fresh lemon grass from the West Bank and Sainsbury’s ‘Taste the Difference’ Pomodorino tomatoes. Sainsbury’s stocks Hadiklaim dates labelled ‘Made in West Bank’ and products from Soda Club, which has an office based in the settlement of Ma’leh Adumin.

Sainsbury’s has said, in correspondence with Boycott Israeli Goods Campaign supporters, that the store is not a political organisation and it does not boycott products from any country. Sainsbury’s does acknowledge, however, that “ethical trading is a growing area of concern for our company and consumers” and that it has an “ethical trading policy.” Whether ethical trading concerns would extend to the sale of goods from an apartheid regime on occupied land, that’s not something the retailer seems interested in answering.

Palestine solidarity campaigners have attended Sainsbury’s PLC shareholders meeting several years running, in an attempt to persuade the company to stop selling Israeli goods and to label its produce more accurately.

Sainsbury’s says it is committed to ‘informative labelling’, despite describing one piece of produce as being from ‘Gaza Strip, Israel’. After the 2007 ITN report about mislabelling of settlement Medjoul dates as ‘Produce of Israel’, Sainsbury’s admitted that it had mislabelled produce and stated that “as from today, all dates from the West Bank will be labelled as coming from the West Bank. We are investigating how this error occurred.”

Meetings have been held between Sainsbury’s management and campaigners and NGOs about the labelling of settlement goods. At a meeting in 2009, James Clark, a ‘public affairs and stakeholder relations spokesperson’, told campaigners that Justin King, CEO of J Sainsbury plc, had written to Hilary Benn, Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), asking him to clarify how retailers should label goods from Israeli settlements. Mr Clark said Sainsbury’s would be revising its labelling policy in the next six months and might consider labelling settlement produce ‘Produce of Israeli Settlement’. Mr Clark was not prepared to listen to arguments that settlements were illegal and argued that the store did not have instructions to this effect from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, despite the fact that this is clearly set out on the FCO website.

Sainsburys have been picketed across the UK by campaigners calling for a boycott of Israeli goods.

J Sainsbury plc
33 Holborn

Direct Action Against Israel – Part 2

11 thoughts on “Sainsbury’s”

  1. Come on Sainsbury’s you can do better than this! I will be voting with my feet and purse and only shopping at the
    Co-op from now on. Boycotting settlement goods sends a powerful message. Palestinians have rights too.

  2. I am very disappointed about this. As a result of this, I have stopped going to shop in Sainsbury opting , Co-op, Iceland and Lidl. it us extremely shameful trading. Co-op need to be given a pat on the back for their decision to stop trade with Israel.

  3. I have stopped shopping with sainsburys, I can’t fed my children with the blood and sacrifice of others…. Shame on you sainsburys… Your profiteering off the victims of war crimes.

  4. congrats on cowardly not resisting muslim [ isis] demands
    the people who beheaded mr foley will be proud of your submission. so will all the other terrorist groups

  5. The massacre and genocide of thousands of innocent Palestinians. The infinitely worse than south Africa’s apartheid regime. The murder of innocent children playing on the beach. The stealing of hectares and hectares of land. The silence of world leaders at the horrific atrocities …sainsburys is obviously supportive of the organised well funded zionist disease.

  6. Having being a loyal shopper in sainsburys for over 3/4 years I am disappointed by head office response to product labelling I feel sainsburys are being underhand for ever reason? to their customer base.sadly I will now make a detour of 2 miles to shop elsewhere.I found the staff to be polite engaging and in most instances probably of a higher standard than other retail outlets.
    Yours G Bannon

  7. I specifically buy from sainsburys because they sell products from the only democratic country in the Middle East. Congratulations sainsburys, I will support your company & continue to spend my money with you.

  8. Shame on you Sainsbury’s, to boycott produce from Israel is a total disgrace. You show your ignorance about Israel, do your research. Israel belongs to the Jews. My friends and family will never shop with you again, you bunch of bigots!

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